Google (GOOG) is getting into the eDiscovery business, launching Google Apps Vault for the cloud company's business customers. Google Apps Vault aims to help customers "manage, archive and preserve" data. Impressively, Google is telling customers to reach out to Google Apps resellers for more information.

In theory, Google Apps Vault can help businesses to quickly respond to unexpected customer claims, lawsuits and investigations. According to Google's announcement:
"Vault gives management, IT, legal and compliance users a systemized, repeatable and defensible platform that will reduce the costs and risks of doing business. With just a few clicks, the business can access a service designed for security and providing auditable access to critical information."

Google Apps Vault costs an additional $5 per user per month. I think that roughly doubles the overall cost of Google Apps per user per month. But for compliance-conscious customers, that seems like a reasonable fee to me -- assuming Google Apps Vault works as advertised.

No doubt, the cloud-based market for eDiscovery tools has been growing rapidly. D4 LLC, an MSP, offers eDiscovery as a managed service. And Symantec has continued to expand its eDiscovery expertise.

For channel partners, the eDiscovery market seems like a natural extension to cloud-based security services, managed security services and corporate compliance practices.